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Converting bitmap selections to paths

From: Fireworks CS5 Essential Training

Video: Converting bitmap selections to paths

There may be times when you receive a bitmap image of some artwork which was, at one point, obviously a vector file. You need to edit the file but scaling and changing the colors can be problematic because a bitmap image is all pixel- based, and any alteration you make to the pixels can have a destructive effect on the overall image. Take, for example, our little sample here, this little symbolic landscape image. Currently, it is a bitmap. If I select it, you'll see it shows up as a bitmap in the Properties panel, which means if I try to scale this to make it maybe a base for a footer on a Web page, I'm going to end up with some significant issues with quality, especially when we go vertically with this.

Converting bitmap selections to paths

There may be times when you receive a bitmap image of some artwork which was, at one point, obviously a vector file. You need to edit the file but scaling and changing the colors can be problematic because a bitmap image is all pixel- based, and any alteration you make to the pixels can have a destructive effect on the overall image. Take, for example, our little sample here, this little symbolic landscape image. Currently, it is a bitmap. If I select it, you'll see it shows up as a bitmap in the Properties panel, which means if I try to scale this to make it maybe a base for a footer on a Web page, I'm going to end up with some significant issues with quality, especially when we go vertically with this.

You can see that the entire image is basically breaking down, and that's really not want we want. I'm just going to press Escape to get out of that Scaling mode. For whatever reason, we don't have the original vector to work with. But the good news is we can actually take this bitmap image and convert it into a series of vectors, which will be scalable. So I'm going to walk you through that process here. Now in the case we have with this particular image, the Magic Wand is going to be a big help. I'm going to zoom in a little bit, and I'm going to select my Magic Wand tool, and I'm going to set the Tolerance down to a lower number, probably around 10 or lower.

I just want to make sure that the only thing I'm selecting is specific colors. I'm going to click on my top yellow part here of my bitmap image, and I'll get my selection applied there. And if I hold down the Shift key, I can certainly see if I can get more of it. But that looks like the whole thing. Now, at this point, all I have is a Marquee selection. It's not really going to do me any good as it stands. However, I can go up to my Select menu, and I can choose Convert Marquee to Path, and this is a really cool feature, because it automatically takes the bitmap marquee and turns it into a path.

Now, in this case, here, it's also added some colors that I wasn't expecting, but that's not a hard thing to deal with. I'm just going to reposition this ever so slightly, and I can change the Fill, and in this case, get rid of a Stroke. And there's my yellow for my top part of my design. I'm going to do the same thing with the other two pieces. I'll grab my Magic Wand. I am going to select the mid ground here. I am going to go and choose Select > Convert Marquee to Path, and it will take on the last Fill color I had, which was the yellow, and I'll, again, just grab my Pointer tool, reposition that a little bit, and change the color by changing the Fill.

And then, I'll just position that up a little higher so it ties in with my top vector. And the last one to go, Magic Wand one more time, click on the bottom and yet again, same process: Select > Convert Marquee to Path. I'll just grab my Pointer tool. Reposition it slightly so I can get my color match. Now, I've got that selected as well. I am going to remove my bitmap out of the area there, take my bottom part of my landscape and just tie it in. And when I deselect my objects, you can I've got the same kind of effect.

But this is in a vector format, so I can actually scale this any way that I like. I can go and select all three pieces, grab my Scaling tool and if zoom out a bit so we can see more of the canvas, press Ctrl+Minus or Command+Minus to do that, I can run that right across. And that gives me the scaling that I need for that particular element. Now, what's most noticeable here, if I move that bitmap out of the way a bit more, I'm going to select all three, and I'm going to group them. So press Ctrl+G or Command+G to group together, and I'll scale them vertically too.

And you can see that I'm not getting near with the distortion I was getting with the original bitmap. If I try to do that with a bitmap, just give you a reminder of what that will look like. So this technique can come in really handy if you're handed over a JPEG file of company logo that you need to work with to rescale for a Web site design or possibly even something higher fidelity, maybe for print.

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This video is part of

Image for Fireworks CS5 Essential Training
Fireworks CS5 Essential Training

92 video lessons · 29600 viewers

Jim Babbage
Author

 
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  1. 3m 42s
    1. Welcome
      1m 22s
    2. What is Fireworks?
      1m 59s
    3. Using the exercise files
      21s
  2. 1h 27m
    1. Creating and opening documents
      7m 36s
    2. Understanding the interface
      9m 43s
    3. Working with tabbed documents
      6m 18s
    4. Setting up rulers, guides, and grids
      10m 7s
    5. Using tooltips and Smart Guides
      5m 40s
    6. Working with panels
      9m 29s
    7. Working with pages
      8m 59s
    8. Working with layers
      13m 13s
    9. Working with states
      4m 35s
    10. Using the Properties panel
      4m 38s
    11. Using the Preferences panel
      7m 34s
  3. 52m 39s
    1. Understanding the Fireworks PNG format
      2m 11s
    2. Saving and exporting files
      5m 11s
    3. Importing files
      5m 34s
    4. Opening Photoshop files
      6m 7s
    5. Opening Illustrator files
      3m 58s
    6. Exporting a single file
      9m 57s
    7. Using the Image Preview window
      1m 52s
    8. Using the Export Area tool
      3m 10s
    9. Creating PDF files
      4m 16s
    10. Saving Photoshop files
      5m 48s
    11. Using Fireworks files for Illustrator
      4m 35s
  4. 1h 2m
    1. Understanding bitmaps
      1m 32s
    2. Resizing images
      3m 48s
    3. Using the selection tools
      8m 0s
    4. Using the drawing tools
      8m 19s
    5. Retouching with the corrective tools: Rubber Stamp
      12m 16s
    6. Using the bitmap effects tools: Blur, Sharpen, and Replace Color
      7m 33s
    7. Using more bitmap effects tools: Dodge and Burn
      7m 1s
    8. Improving images using the Levels filter
      8m 15s
    9. Creating a bitmap mask with a selection
      6m 2s
  5. 1h 10m
    1. Looking at the vector toolset
      6m 53s
    2. Using the Pen tool
      7m 32s
    3. Editing vector shapes with the Freeform and Reshape Area tools
      4m 35s
    4. Filling shapes with patterns and live filters
      3m 17s
    5. Using Auto Shapes
      7m 24s
    6. Using shapes as image elements
      4m 16s
    7. Scaling shapes
      5m 28s
    8. Masking objects with vector shapes
      7m 13s
    9. Applying strokes
      5m 52s
    10. Using Vector Path and Path Scrubber
      6m 9s
    11. Using the Compound Shape tool
      7m 40s
    12. Using Snap to Pixel
      2m 15s
    13. Using Gradient Dither
      1m 46s
  6. 51m 18s
    1. Understanding symbols
      5m 41s
    2. Creating graphic symbols
      13m 11s
    3. Creating button symbols
      10m 22s
    4. Creating animation symbols
      5m 4s
    5. Sharing symbols with the Common Library
      1m 37s
    6. Editing the instance of a symbol
      3m 46s
    7. Adding component symbols to a design
      8m 46s
    8. Exporting and importing symbols
      2m 51s
  7. 17m 34s
    1. Creating GIF animations
      9m 31s
    2. Animating with Twist and Fade
      3m 47s
    3. Creating a tweened animation
      4m 16s
  8. 26m 46s
    1. Using text in Fireworks
      7m 19s
    2. Understanding text properties
      3m 14s
    3. Adding text in a path
      4m 43s
    4. Adding text to a path
      4m 31s
    5. Using text as a mask
      3m 35s
    6. Maintaining crisp text in web images
      3m 24s
  9. 28m 35s
    1. Having fun with filters
      8m 44s
    2. Working with Styles
      4m 10s
    3. Using Blend Modes
      4m 40s
    4. Converting bitmap selections to paths
      3m 50s
    5. Working with Adobe Swatch Exchange files
      2m 33s
    6. Using the Kuler panel for color inspiration
      4m 38s
  10. 1h 14m
    1. Understanding the web toolset
      1m 51s
    2. Creating hotspots
      6m 22s
    3. Using the Slice tool
      8m 57s
    4. Using a master page
      5m 20s
    5. Sharing layers across pages
      4m 49s
    6. Sharing web layers across pages
      3m 30s
    7. Using HTML component symbols
      3m 15s
    8. Creating choices and showing design options to clients
      7m 7s
    9. Importing pages
      2m 47s
    10. Previewing the mockup
      4m 17s
    11. Using HTML prototyping
      5m 22s
    12. Improving the workflow
      20m 30s
  11. 33m 19s
    1. Optimizing images for export, part 1
      15m 36s
    2. Optimizing images for export, part 2
      13m 36s
    3. Generating a CSS-based layout
      4m 7s
  12. 22m 20s
    1. Integrating Fireworks, FXG, and Flash Catalyst
      3m 56s
    2. Integrating Fireworks and Flash
      3m 46s
    3. Using roundtrip editing between Dreamweaver and Fireworks
      5m 52s
    4. Copying and pasting objects to Dreamweaver
      2m 57s
    5. Integrating Fireworks and Device Central
      4m 13s
    6. Working with Bridge
      1m 36s
  13. 13s
    1. Goodbye
      13s

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